Wednesday, December 24, 2014


The play is finished and my people are home. 

After an entire day of elving (they are being so mysterious, leaving me...gasp!...alone for hours on end!), we ended the day sewing while listening to Dan read: part of  A Child's Christmas in Wales, Truman Capote's A Christmas beautiful and sad. The beginning of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to cheer us up a bit, nestled amongst cats and stitching away. 

These are my favorite bits of this season.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Wise men, in boats. I don't know the whole story...

Changing over the nature table. She remembered
having to stand to clean the mirror...still her favorite job.

Ok, this really happened. A smiley face in our purple carrot. !!
Apparently, Eliza's Solstice tradition includes a sassy new haircut!
Making, making, making...decorating, finally feels like a special time of the year, seeking out the light in the darkness, gathering friends together to laugh and feed each other, body and soul.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Look at our tree! It's packed! My favorite ornaments are still the ones that were handmade...the beaded ones from the cousins, the cross-stitch from my mom, and all of our paper ornaments - the photos, the origami balloons, the string solstice stars...I love finding them in the bottom of the box of Christmas stuff.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ani reading Garfield. The timer's for cookies.
Our family is in the strange twilight zone of having half of the family involved in a play while the other half carries on more or less as normal.  Except there is no normal when half of the family is otherwise occupied.  So our days look a lot like Ani and myself figuring it out, while making sure people who need to sleep and eat get what they need.  It's a little like they're visiting when they're home, as they're only really here to refuel before heading back to make music and story.  

I am writing this to remind myself that Ani and I generally are totally in love with each other.  And occasionally we have rough patches. But mostly there are many pauses for kisses and "Mama, I need to hug on you!" and the sketching out of plans together.  Sunset walks and David Attenborough. Cookies and reading The Number Devil, domino mazes, card games,  and sometimes just lying down on the bed, face to face, talking.  I love that this is a need she expresses to me.  I am grateful for the connection and the clarity she has about needing that connection.

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Today, while Eliza and Dan were at tech and dress rehearsals for Appalachian Christmas Carol, Ani and I went to learn how to throw pots on a wheel with Jason and Noah.  I've done this once before, when I was pregnant with Eliza, but had forgotten so much.  I had many aha! moments as my understanding of what the heck I was doing increased.  More! I want more! The wheel as metaphor for life is so strong! Centering. Failing. Centering again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

sleepover, in three acts

I:  Hang out and Pick up at the farm

In which we are introduced to the citrus-y wonder that is the hand of the Buddha. Or the fingers. It looks like a fantastical sea creature made of lemons...

(And we play Amazing Mammoth Hunt and nurse the lambs...)

II:  The Sleep Part

In which Ani is so tired and grouchy that when I say to Ari, "Ari, you are Simply the Best Gramma" indicating her mug of tea, Ani momentarily flips out with "Why does Ari get to be the best gramma???" after which we experience an exchange of WHA--? and burst into laughter, all of us...Some serious gingerbread wrangling before bed, and then, yes, sleep... 

III: Mustaches Rule the Day

In which two children mark the moments of their days by the type of mustaches they are wearing.

Morning fuzz:

Mid-day Hot Chocolate:

And I don't even know quite what to say about these faces, but apparently the mustaches weren't quite cutting the mustard.

We spent the afternoon with Molly and Jason, making art.  This is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon...a kitchen table, friends, art supplies...

Jimi and Jimi
Jason's transformation of an old photograph

Ani and I caught this sunset on our walk back down the hill, once the sleepover had officially ended.  It was only 4:30 and it reminded me of how close we are getting to the darkest turn of the year.  My insides don't feel like that should be happening quite yet; Ani also was explaining how Winter doesn't really feel like it starts until January, and I get that. Somehow it is much bleaker then, maybe because it isn't so new.  I'm looking to cherish this dark time and relish the inward-turning for all its nurturing and inspiration...